San Francisco's North Beach district will be swinging this weekend, as vocalist Kim Nalley settles in for three nights at the classy North Beach nightclub, Jazz at Pearl's. Nalley is well known in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the U.S. and in Europe as well for her performing joie de vivre, sweet 'n' sassy singing style and splendid sense of swing. With influences ranging from the heartfelt blues of Bessie Smith to the high-flying jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Williams, Kim Nalley has the voice, spirit and stage presence to light up a room and set it to rocking.
Nalley will perform at Jazz at Pearl's this Friday through Sunday (April 13-15), with shows at 8:00 and 10:00 pm. Doors open at 7:30. During her weekend set at Pearl's, Nalley will be working with her good friend and long-time musical collaborator, pianist Tammy Hall. Hall, whose bluesy, gospel tinged keyboard work has made her a crowd favorite in her own right and is leading her own ensemble at Pearl's each Tuesday night through May 1, is recently back from a tour of Japan.
Fans of great vocal jazz and blues don't need a special reason to go see Kim Nalley, but all such afficianados should be alerted that this weekend will be their last chance to see Nalley in concert in the San Francisco Bay Area at least until the summer.
Shortly after her three nights at Pearl's this week, Nalley will be heading off for a series of concert performances in Russia. And upon her return, she will be starring in the play, SPUNK, George C. Wolfe's dramatic adaptation of three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston, at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco, from May 6 through May 26.
Nalley is a veteran of the theatrical stage, having powerfully portrayed Billie Holiday during an extended run of the play Lady Day in Love, by C. J. Verburg.
Ken Bullock of the Berkeley Daily Planet said of that performance, [T]he difficulty of portraying Billie the singer and the woman has been solved by the presence of vocalist Kim Nalley, who not only sings 15 of Lady Day's numbers wonderfully, but manages to convey something of the sense of her character, by turns demure and tough, as much through suggestion as through any kind of overly studied scheme. This kind of Impressionism lends a subtle radiance to [the] play."
It's that sort of theatrical luminance that lends so much to Nalley's concert performances, as well. For those who have yet to experience the pleasure of a Kim Nalley show in the intimate setting of a club like Jazz at Pearl's, now's the time. For Nalley fans looking for a night of great music from one of their favorite singers to tide them over until the summer, don't miss this weekend at Pearl's.
Jazz at Pearl's is located at 256 Columbus Avenue near Broadway in the heart of San Francisco's historic North Beach District. Performances begin at 8:00 and 10:00 pm. Doors open at 7:30. For more information, visit www.jazzatpearls.com or call (415) 291-8255.